The dramatic decrease in the number of posts on this blog probably correlates perfectly with the increase in the number of tweets I’ve sent. The ability to share my thoughts quickly and easily without having to come up with complete English sentences means I’ve not felt the need to sit down and make time to Mumble. I clearly recall in the pre-twitter days feeling positively distressed if I didn’t update this site every few days – I’d feel like I was holding my breath, it was only a metter of time before I had to come back here to release the pressure.

I’m sure there’s hundreds of thousands of people out there who find their own blogs suffering in this way.

It’s not necessarily a bad thing though, it’s just evolution; it’s natural that they should change over time. Back in 2002 when I started The Daily Mumble it was common for a blog to have a diary format, documenting the everyday and the normal. A place to share stories and photos and for friends to comment.

Then along came Facebook, a single destination where all your friends gathered. You could share everything there with a lot less effort than writing a blog post – and get a lot more feedback too.  When Twitter later entered the equation there was even less raison d’être to blog – it seemed like the end of road.

The blogs that survived the cull and indeed went to  experience big success were those that focused on niche interests. Japanese food, social media, technology, language …whatever. They were not focused on the lives of the authors, but rather provided useful, relevant information for a group of people with a common interest.

Some however limped on under the old model. They were updated infrequently with personal news, had a few photos embedded from Flickr, the odd YouTube video was featured; hey served as a record of important changes in the authors’ lives.

And that’s kind of what the Daily Mumble does.

I’m in two minds as to what to do. I could maintain the blog in the current fashion, basically using it as a record of important developments in my life. I have found it to be an invaluable point of reference on countless occasions – it meets a real need in that way.

The other option is, in addition to using it as a life log, start to use it in a more Posterous/Tumblr type way. That is, have posts that consist of short chunks of text, individual images or videos, short musings on things that are of interest to me.  Currently, I use TwitPic or Moby to host images posted to Twitter – perhaps instead I would post the image and description to The Daily Mumble and have the link to that go out in my Twitter stream.

This second option appeals to me. I know it won’t suit all of my readers as it’ll mean a lot more content in the feed and on the page – but if I don’t do that, well we might see things get even more stale around here, and I’m reluctant for that to happen. I need to diversify, even if it means breaking some blogger norms.

In terms of practicalities I’m thinking of using Posterous as the publishing tool, and when posting there I’d choose whether it goes to one or all of Twitter / Facebook / WordPress.

Anyways, if there are changes around here, that’s why.

Right, off out now to the Local Japan Times photo competition, then after that another party in Jiyugaoka. Got a packed weekend too, with work all day tomorrow and then the Japanese Language Proficiency Test on Sunday, which due to a complete lack of prep I don’t expect to pass!


4 Responses

  1. “It’s not necessarily a bad thing though, it’s just evolution; ”

    I have to respectfully disagree. Tweeting, compressing thoughts into single sentences is not evolution, it’s devolution. It’s taking content in the opposite direction for the most part. There are people who can craft artistically crafted tweets, but simply spewing thoughts at random rather than actually writing something of value is in no way moving on for anyone. The format of Twitter and other brief missive-based social networking guts content of validity. Even on FB, I will write notes when I have something to share because I can actually built the content.

    There has been no “cull” in the blogging world. Plenty of people still blog, but as is the case with all hobbies and interests, some people lose interest in the process and give up, or they move on, or they had unrealistic expectations to begin with. Many carry on, and indeed do talk about their lives. Frankly, I think you’re confusing the fact that you lost interest in reading them with their demise. They’re still out there. In particular, many, many women blog about their lives in Japan. I’m not sure how one defines “success” in the blogging world, particularly when it comes to personal blogs which are not commercial in nature.

    Personally, I gave up personal blogging because the flak I got was too annoying. I picked up a stalker (which was a good reason to take personal content to FB ), and got tired of people who mainly followed what I wrote in order to find someone to fight with. When you do a personal blog, people treat you like the dog they kick when they return from a hard day of work. Niche blogging spares me most of that suffering (esp. with comments turned off), but Twitter leaves me cold. It makes me feel like someone’s audience or customer and there’s so little substance I could weep. Of course, the same can be said of many blogs, but there is the possibility of value if you can say more than a few characters. Some people even having writing talent.

    Obviously, each person should do what they want, but I would hope you wouldn’t confuse your changing focus with a more generalized change in focus on the part of everyone. Many people still personally blog, and I will always favor that over status messages on FB or Tweets. Good luck with whatever path you choose.

  2. For possibly the first time, I agree with Orchid64.

    Twitter is like hearing one half of someone’s conversation at the back of the bus, interspersed with the most banale and uninteresting facts about what a person is up to at any particular moment in time:

    “I’m on my way to the shops”

    “Just met Barry off Eastenders!! LLLoooolll!11!!”

    How you could possibly consider this an “evolution” from a considered and engaging blog post is beyond me.

    The Daily Mumble. R.I.P.

    1. Twitter can indeed be how you described, but it can be many other things too. I have a number of accounts, each of which occupy very different parts of the twitterverse, and am myself surprised by just how different they are.